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Old 01-20-2012, 03:13 AM   #1
rollinred
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Default Almost Complete (W/Pictures)

Set out to build a simple one element system that could be expanded to a two element system. I intend to use this kettle as both the HLT and boil kettle. Later moving to a 15-20 gallon Boil kettle for larger batches.

I still have a few things to figure out.

1. how to mount the element. I would like to do a tri-clover setup in the end but I broke myself doing this project already. I do not like the Kal method at all, and I am not even sure I could get a good seal with how much curvature the kettle has. I might have an idea that plays off of the Kal method though.
2. Getting the PID running right. I don't know what I don't have set right but the PID is constantly sending signal to the SSR. I have checked my wiring and don't think that is the issue. I have to believe it is something in the PID setting.
3. When I am going to finally have this thing done.

I have been doing this "behind the scene" because I didn't want to ask the simple questions until I was nearly done.

Last, I have no idea how to post pictures here so don't be surprised if it doesn't work right.

P.S., Thumbs up for the person who notices my mistake!


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Old 01-20-2012, 03:15 AM   #2
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Kettle and stuff


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Old 01-20-2012, 08:53 PM   #3
audger
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Default

for mounting the element, most threaded elements are 1" NPS, so you can get a 1" half coupling and weld or solder it into the kettle. if you werent going tri-clover, that is the way i would prefer. other options would be to use washers and a locknut on the inside and just put the element thru a hole in the side. that has its obvious downfalls on a curved surface though.

for #2, it could be that the PID is set for cooling, where you want heating. or the setpoint is simply lower than the input temp. also check the polarity on the PID-to-SSR wires. its a DC signal (usually), so it matters.
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Old 01-20-2012, 09:06 PM   #4
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It appears that everything is running right. The RTD was reading the same as a thermometer I placed in a glass of ice water. I will have to check on the setting for cooling or heating, but it wasn't switching on or off at all. it was sending power constantly no matter where the set point was. Could easily be user error though.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:50 AM   #5
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I found a MUCH improved way to mount a heating element vs. the Kal method. So everything is pretty much complete....

Except for the fact that I can not get this PID running right. I have no idea what I am doing wrong but my element is firing in a nearly continuous fashion. I have it set for the RTD (21), but when I press the A/M button nothing happens at any time. So I have no idea whether I am in Auto or manual.

More than likely I am just doing something wrong.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollinred View Post
I found a MUCH improved way to mount a heating element vs. the Kal method. So everything is pretty much complete....

Willing to share?
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:17 PM   #7
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I would like to ask where you got your switches and what are the dimensions of your control panel?
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:49 PM   #8
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Default My Element Mount

This is the "improved Kal mount" as most of the idea was taken from Kal just improved on. I want to mention that I did mock up one of Kals method of mounting and installed it several times.

I had leaks and also used a meter to test the ground and in several instances the element was not grounding! This is NOT good. It does this because the O-ring doesn't "squish" enough to make contact with the kettle body, AND using the silicon that is required to prevent leakage in to the electrical box can cause a situation where no contact between the base of the element and the box. Keep in mind this is a rare condition but it can happen.

Not to mention, if you take the element out of the kettle there is a good chance you have to re-do the silicon inside the electrical box.

The design I came up with allows you to take the element out every time withing a few seconds BUT, it does require a couple of spot welds as seen on other builds because it is welded to the outside of the box. I am sure you have seen designs like this but I have yet to see one that is like this in the outdoor water resistant box, only in the cheaper galvanized boxes. You all should be able to come up with someone you know that has access to a MIG welder that can put a couple tacks on. If not, I am sure a weld shop only charges a small fee for a job this small.

Everything behind the stainless plate is siliconed and no water can get in the back side. You do not need to big washer that is used in the Kal method to stop the o-ring from squeezing out, it won't do that in this connection. Instead I used the washer inside the Kettle to stop the nut from scraping the kettle wall.

The pictures suck because I can't figure out how to use this fancy camera and my wife can't find the charger for her other camera.

If you need more details or pictures let me know. I will certainly get them.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaheel View Post
I would like to ask where you got your switches and what are the dimensions of your control panel?
Switches are from automation direct. I will get you the dimensions of the control box this evening.
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:01 AM   #10
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Looks good! I like how you improved on the method to mount the element.

I have been working with aluminum pots and have found that they flex enough to enable a good seal by just using washers and a bit of teflon tape when things are snugged tight enough. Does the SS pot flex any?


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